I couch surfed in Petra....
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A spectacular architectural wonder, this ancient city was literally carved into the rock face. The hike up to the Monastery was arduous but totally worth it. Jordan is a country steeped in history, and Petra is by far its most famous attraction. Aptly named, Petra means “stone” in Greek. Dating back as early as the 5th century BC, this city on the edge of the Wadi Araba was quite literally carved into the sandstone of a deep canyon. Originally created by the Nabateans, a group of Arab-speaking Semitics who moved into Southern Jordan two thousand years ago, Petra was in control of trade routes stretching from Africa to India and China. The Romans later conquered the area and it was eventually abandoned and forgotten until a Swiss explorer rediscovered it in 1812.After winding my way through the astonishing geological formations, colorful rocks and water channels, I was rewarded with our first glimpse of the famous Treasury. As I emerged from the Siq, I was blown away by the sight of the Treasury. Featured in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, the Treasury was painstakingly chiseled from sand and stone by the ancient Nabateans. It was truly stunning.
From Aqaba, we again set off on an amazing jeep tour into the Wadi Rum desert. And as we reached Petra, we knew it was the perfect place for a history-lover like me. As a young boy, I often imitated the adventures of Indiana Jones and now I was breathing amongst the walls that had once stood for the Last Crusade! So without further adieu, we delved our curious and excited foot steps into the carved pink sandstone and soon made our grand entrance, through the winding canyon of Siq, finally to the legendary Al Khazneh (The Treasury). Walking past the stone-resurrected tombs and narrow gorges amidst the rocks that have withheld a metamorphosis with the passage of time. And finally we got lucky for our first glimpse!Marked in every corner by its history of Bedouin culture, yet it reeks of the once effluent Pharaoh's lavish interests. So as we headed out, content with ourselves of the historical essence our trip had brought on, we realised it was just impossible to stay in Petra for just a day. To get the feel of the ruins that shaped history, we decided we'll stay on and explore more. So in the coming days came the Roman Theater and the Royal Tombs and the magnificent show that we are glad we didn't miss- Petra by Night. And with the visit to the Mountain of Aaron, our trip came to an end.